Monday, 18 July 2016

YOUTHLEAD report back on the UNAIDS High Level Meeting to End AIDS

At the UN High Level Meeting to End AIDS (HLM) in New York, civil society played a vital role in advocating for the needs of key populations, in particular stressing the urgent need for the greater inclusion specific communities affected by HIV within the document.  

AFAO spoke to one of the civil society delegates at the meeting, Jeffry Acaba, about his thoughts on the outcome of the meeting and what the next steps for civil society organisations will be.

Friday, 10 June 2016

Report back: UN High Level Meeting on AIDS

L-R: Darryl O'Donnell, Sharon Lewin,
Cipri Martinez.
It’s been an intense few days in New York, as government heads of state, ministers of health and civil society congregated in New York for the High Level Meeting on Ending AIDS (HLM).

The Australian Delegation to the meeting included AFAO CEO Darryl O’Donnell; President of the National Association of People with HIV Australia (NAPWHA), Cipri Martinez; and leading Australian HIV cure researcher and head of the Doherty Institute, Professor Sharon Lewin.

AFAO's Finn O'Keefe reports.

Friday, 13 May 2016

PrEP can help us end HIV

It’s not often that a drug’s product information sheet would be cause for excitement, let alone celebration, writes AFAO Executive Director Darryl O'Donell. 

Yet just as experts met in Sydney on 6 May to discuss HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis, Australia’s drug regulator quietly changed the product sheet for the drug Truvada to approve its use to prevent HIV.

This change by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration means that doctors can now write a script for Truvada and it can be dispensed at a chemist. This is groundbreaking because it means Australia’s drug technocrats have said that Truvada is safe, and that it works in preventing sexual transmission of HIV.  

Friday, 20 November 2015

Charlie Sheen: Commentary from Australian HIV advocates

On 17 November the news broke that actor Charlie Sheen was about to do an interview in which he would disclose that he had HIV. 

On 18 November this rumour was confirmed, with Sheen announcing that he had been living with HIV since 2011, had an undetectable viral load, and had been blackmailed to the tune of millions of dollars by people to whom he’d disclosed.

Social and online media exploded, and concern about the potentially stigmatising impact on people with HIV was uppermost in the minds of HIV advocates around the world. Organisations such as AFAO and our members rapidly put out media statements or circulated information to encourage the media to report sensitively.

On the positive side, the media circus provided an opportunity to raise awareness about HIV and publicise accurate information to counter the decades-old myths that still circulate.

This blog post links to Australian community media and HIV sector responses to Charlie Sheen’s disclosure.

If you have links to other useful Australian stories commenting on Charlie Sheen, please post them in the comments.

Friday, 30 October 2015

HIV video fest

Mini film festivals were a key part of the Community and Advocacy Hubs hosted by AFAO at ASHM’s last two national HIV conferences, and also at AIDS 2014. 

This year, once again, we had an awesome selection of videos from our members and other HIV sector partners, with the videos running on a continuous loop between Hub presentations.

Here’s a selection from the program. There were so many that we can’t share them all, so make sure you click through to the organisations’ channels for more.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Raise your voice against stigma and homophobia

Speaking out against prejudice is a vital step towards changing community attitudes that stigmatise people with HIV and people who are at greater risk of contracting HIV.
When people raise their voices against stigma, it makes it easier for people who have HIV, who are gay, who use drugs, or are sex workers, to access the information, prevention tools, and treatments and care that they need to stay safe and well. Faith leaders play a critical role in the response to HIV through model compassion and supporting evidence-based approaches to HIV prevention and care.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

AFAO Hub buzzes at ASHM 2015

The AFAO Community and Advocacy Hub was an exciting and stimulating focal point of the national HIV (ASHM) Conference in Brisbane over 17 and 18 September. 

Hundreds of conference delegates enjoyed a wide range of presentations, Q & A sessions and film screenings.

AFAO's Michael Frommer reports back.